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O’Fallon proposes to increase sewer lateral repair program annual fee

Inside a damaged sewer lateral pipe [O’Fallon Public Works photo]

A bill [No. 7127] sponsored by O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy would repeal Ordinance 6505 of the O’Fallon Municipal Code and reenact an annual fee of $30, instead of $29, to fund the O’Fallon Sewer Lateral Repair Program.

The bill would authorize the collection of the fee with the city’s property taxes. Thirty dollars is the maximum approved by the voters during the April 7, 2009, municipal election. Properties subject to the ordinance are those with lateral sewer service lines on, or connecting to, residential properties having six or less dwelling units.

At the Sept. 12 City Council meeting, the bill was given a first reading.

At the O’Fallon City Council workshop on June 27, water and sewer assistant superintendent Ben Von Harz had presented an update on the city’s sewer lateral repair program and pointed out a currently estimated shortfall of about $153,000 compared to the 2019 budgeted amount.  The consensus of the council was to increase the annual sewer lateral fee to $30 and to pursue bringing operations of the program in-house to better manage costs.

The program covers repairs to defective portions of private residential sewer lateral pipes from a home’s exterior foundation wall to public sewer pipes; all required street, sidewalk and/or driveway replacement associated with repair; and sod or seed for yard repair. On Jan. 1, 2019, the program also began covering root intrusion. Well received by residents, the program has continued to expand, with significant growth in both 2018 and 2019.

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